A former Sooke fire chief is among this year’s recipients of the B.C. Community Achievement Award.
Steve Sorensen is one of 25 British Columbians who received the award this year.
The B.C. Community Achievement Award celebrates excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. It is awarded annual by the B.C. Achievement Foundation.
Sorensen was recognized for his 36 years with the Sooke Fire Department where he led initiatives to improve emergency services in the region and beyond.
He built strategic relationships and developed programs to address the lack of resources for those affected by fires and facilitate training opportunities for first responders. His vision of cooperation and resource sharing resulted in strengthened mutual aid agreements with neighbouring municipalities, a press release from the B.C. Achievement Foundation stated.
In a 2016 interview with the Sooke News Mirror, Sorensen said improving relationships with neighbouring fire departments was one of his biggest career accomplishments.
“We had personal issues with other departments. We didn’t always get along,” recalled Sorensen. “We wanted to address that problem.”
“I think we’ve mended the fences to the point that we can all work together on a personal level and during emergencies without hurting feelings and egos.”
Sorensen joined the fire department as a volunteer in 1980, and retired in October 2016.
The recipients of the 2020 Community Award will be recognized in a formal presentation ceremony in Victoria later this year.